Online ads can be annoying and it appears Microsoft is working on a way to focus these ads more towards your likes and away from your dislikes. We ran across the Microsoft Personal Data Dashboard that will let you filter out the unwanted ads and let those you might be interested in through. These filters will likely impact ads you see over on Outlook.com and on your Windows Phone.
The Dashboard has several sections or tabs with the main tab reflecting your Windows Live Profile. Additional sections include:
My Data: Here is where you can tag your interests and dislikes from a wide variety of topics. You can also narrow down your likes and dislikes to the brand names of products.
The My Data page also lets you view your Bing search history and any Microsoft Newsletters you are currently subscribed to.
My Choices: This page lets you make choices on how Microsoft uses your data. Presently you have options to turn on/off Microsoft Advertising and Microsoft Email Communications. When turned off, you'll still get the ads but your personalized choices won't kick in.
More Services: This is a listing of additional services from Microsoft that may store and use your personal information. In clicking on one of the links, you can manage how these services use that information.
The Microsoft Personal Data Dashboard is a Beta program and in tinkering with it just for a short bit, not all of the fields are active. And with those fields that are active, there seems to be some limits as to what you can enter. For example, I can dislike Financial Institutions but I can't dislike cats. I can like computers but I can't like Windows Phones.
It will be interesting to watch how the Dashboard develops and it's nice to see Microsoft giving us a few options on what ad content shows up in our daily life. I think it will be nice to add not only topics of interest but brand names to my dislike list and not have to worry about seeing those type ads again.
You can find the Microsoft Personal Dashboard here and keep in mind it's a Beta so not everything is up to snuff.
Thanks, John N., for the tip!
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